Annual Statement 2023
The Governing Body is a key part of the leadership team of the school, working in partnership with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership. In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Governing Body of Fair Oak Infant School are:
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its budget is well spent.
Our Governors bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to the school. This helps ensure that the school is continuously moving forward, maintaining and raising standards in a way that is in line with the culture, values and ethos of the school.
The Governing Body of Fair Oak Infant School is made up of 1 Staff Governor, the Headteacher, 3 elected Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 7 Co-opted Governors.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the governing body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
The Full Governing Body meets once each half term, and, in addition, we have a number of committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Fair Oak Infant School we have a Finance and Resources Committee, focusing on finance, premises and personnel, and a Standards Committee, focusing on curriculum, pupil progress and attainment.
As a Governing Body we also have a Pay Review Committee which meets once a year to ratify all pay awards to members of staff and a Headteacher’s Performance Review Committee to manage the performance of the Headteacher.
Most Governors become Lead and/or Link governors and are appointed to oversee, monitor and report on specific aspects of the school, such as Teaching and Learning, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Safeguarding and Health and Safety or specific subjects like English, Maths and PSHE.
Governors have continued to attend training this year to develop their knowledge and skills.
There has been a training session for the whole governing body: Developing an Inclusive Culture (around Protected Characteristics).
Individual Governors have attended 56 training sessions, conferences and forums including in the following areas: Finance, Safeguarding, Curriculum, Pupil Premium, SEND, Data and Health and Safety. All new governors have attended the Induction for New Governors to get them up to speed quickly in the role. Governors are also already booked onto a further 22 training courses.
The work that we have done as a Full Governing Body
The main priority and focus for any governing body is School Improvement.
Governors are encouraged to ask robust and challenging questions to ensure that they are fulfilling their three core functions.
The Full Governing Body receives a comprehensive report from the Headteacher every term covering all aspects of the School Improvement Plan and information about progress towards targets and attainment.
They also receive reports and updates from the Committees and from Lead and Link Governor monitoring visits, as well as making sure that all statutory responsibilities are being met.
This year the governors have established a working party to evaluate and develop how we communicate and work with all our stakeholders.
The committee is responsible for:
Monitoring and evaluating the curriculum provision and standards of attainment in the school.
Scrutinising all pupil progress and attainment data.
Monitoring the quality of impact of interventions to support pupils who need additional assistance with their learning.
Monitoring the impact of the use of Pupil Premium Funding and Sports Funding
A key aspect of our role has been monitoring the progress of children that qualify for pupil premium (PP) funding and the provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We have supported the school leadership team to buy in appropriate staff training, to help meet targets set on the SEND action plan. Governors monitor provision in school to ensure that it is equitable with all children being given what they need to achieve. Monitoring visits for Teaching and Learning and subjects, e.g. Maths and English, always include questioning around provision for and progress of Pupil Premium children. Our SEND / PP governor is monitoring pupil progress through termly visits and meetings with the PP Leader and SENCo so they can ensure that evidence informed approaches are being used to narrow the gap and ensure that children in receipt of pupil premium funding are progressing appropriately.
This year there has been a significant focus on the adoption and implementation of the Read Write Inc phonics programme. A key area for our committee was monitoring the work of the school in this area. Governors have seen the hard work and diligence of leaders and teachers in ensuring this is implemented consistently to raise standards in phonics. We have particularly enjoyed hearing about the impact this is having on children’s reading and the way they view themselves as readers.
The school continues to build on its responsive and relevant curriculum. Learning journeys are continually being developed and this year more vocabulary has been added to further enrich learning. Governors undertake regular monitoring visits to school. During these visits we are able to monitor progress against the school improvement plan and find out more about the learning happening in school to ensure high quality outcomes for all. The school are continuing to embed floor books in each class this year and governors have enjoyed reading some of these and finding out more about the experiences of children in each class. These floor books have been built up during the year and are a resource that children can access to help highlight links between new learning and what was previously learned.
The committee is responsible for;
Monitoring & evaluating sections of the School Improvement Plan relating to the leadership, finance, staffing and resources of the school
Establishing, monitoring the impact of, and reviewing all the school’s plans, policies and procedures relating to staffing, finance, leadership and management, buildings and health and safety
Recommending to the full governing body which Service Level Agreements to sign up for
Reviewing funding received such as Pupil Premium funding and monitoring how this is spent
One of the important aspects of the Finance & Resources Committee is to draw up and review the annual budget for approval by the full governing body and submission to the LA in line with the statutory guidance and timescales. This also includes reviewing whether the school and relevant staff are managing finances in accordance with the schools’ scheme of financial delegation and control and complies with the requirements of the School Financial Value Standards (SFVS). The committee also spends time monitoring and evaluating expenditure by the school to ensure that spending provides best value and is linked to the school’s agreed priorities.
Governors are encouraged to question any spending that looks unusual or larger than expected or transactions that they are not familiar with. They also review SLAs and other areas of the budget to advise where any further cuts could be made without detriment to the School or Children. Benchmarking against similar sized schools would also support the fact that Fair Oak remains exceptionally prudent with their finances ensuring spending is for the benefit of the children and their education. This has been demonstrated this year through the re tender process for the school’s IT provider and also the installation of the new electronic school gate.
In addition to Financial Accounts, one of the other important reviews is surrounding staffing and health & welfare. Governors are accountable and responsible for ensuring (in conjunction with the head teacher) that all health and safety requirements are implemented and followed. Also that health and wellbeing is promoted within the staffing. This year also saw the start of a Governors Engagement with Stakeholders working party to ensure that governors continue to work with and support all key parties in the school and wider community.
Staffing structures are also reviewed on an annual basis, along with training and development of staff and governors to ensure this is linked to the school’s agreed priorities. Governors monitor the impact of training on standards.
The Committee also ensure all SLAs (Service level Agreements) are regularly reviewed.
Finances are well controlled by the Head Teacher, supported by the Finance Officer with spending remaining well within the set budgets.
The Pay Review Committee reviews the Headteacher’s evidence of staff performance against targets and uses this to determine the level of pay awards, if any, for individual members of staff.
Headteacher Performance Committee
The Governing Body carries out the annual appraisal of the Headteacher.
The appraisal process allows us to look closely at the performance of the Headteacher, have discussions about areas of strength and areas for development and set new targets against which the Headteacher’s performance will be reviewed. There are two interim meetings during the year to monitor progress towards the new targets set.
How you can contact the Governing Body
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents. Please contact the Chair of Governors via the School Office.